U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Call for Action on Export-Import Bank Vacancy

WMC President and CEO Kurt Bauer joins Senator Baldwin in urging advancement of bipartisan nomination to Ex-Im Bank Board

By - May 16th, 2016 10:20 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) President and CEO Kurt Bauer are calling for the advancement of Mark McWatters’ nomination to the Export-Import Bank’s Board of Directors. In a letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), Senator Baldwin requested that he advance the nomination of McWatters, a Republican, to allow the Export-Import Bank to conduct its business of supporting American businesses and manufacturers.

“Wisconsin manufacturers have waited long enough for the Export-Import Bank to return to full operating capacity,” wrote Senator Baldwin. “Out of respect to those manufacturers, workers, and their families, I urge you to uphold your responsibility and proceed to the consideration of Mr. McWatters’ nomination.”

“The Export-Import Bank has contributed $700 million to Wisconsin’s economy in just the past two years, all while being a careful steward of taxpayer funds—the Bank returned $7 billion to the Treasury over the past two decades,” said Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) President and CEO Kurt Bauer. “I applaud Senator Baldwin’s efforts to move the nomination of Mark McWatters through the Senate to restore the Ex-Im Bank to its full operating capacity.”

The Export-Import Bank’s five-person Board of Directors currently has only two confirmed members. If confirmed, McWatters would provide the Board with the quorum needed to authorize new loans over $10 million. According to a report from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, each day’s delay on a confirmation costs U.S. businesses $50 million in exports. The Senate Banking Committee has not yet taken any action on the pending nomination, which was made by President Obama in January of 2016.

Since 2007, the Export-Import Bank has supported 27,131 Wisconsin jobs by helping 218 Wisconsin businesses, including 128 small businesses, export $5 billion worth of goods and products made in Wisconsin. Senator Baldwin has been a strong supporter of the Ex-Im Bank and led a push for reauthorization last year. WMC President and CEO Kurt Bauer recently authored an op-ed calling for a bipartisan stand to demand the advancement of this nomination.

An online version of Senator Baldwin’s letter is available here.

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